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Publication numberUS7440262 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 11/710,851
Publication dateOct 21, 2008
Filing dateFeb 26, 2007
Priority dateDec 6, 2006
Fee statusPaid
Also published asCA2670117A1, EP2102952A2, EP2102952B1, US7839623, US8320107, US20080136259, US20090154070, US20110122549, WO2008070443A2, WO2008070443A3
Publication number11710851, 710851, US 7440262 B2, US 7440262B2, US-B2-7440262, US7440262 B2, US7440262B2
InventorsJoseph Coffey, David Johnsen, Duane Sand, Bradley Blichfeldt
Original AssigneeAdc Telecommunications, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular power distribution system and methods
US 7440262 B2
Abstract
A modular power distribution system comprises a chassis and a backplane including a power input, and a plurality of module connection locations. A plurality of modules are mounted in the chassis, each module mounted to one of the module connection locations. Each module includes: (i) a circuit protection device; and (ii) a power output connection location. Bus bars connect front power inputs to the backplane.
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Claims(15)
1. A modular power distribution system comprising:
(a) a chassis including:
(i) an open front;
(ii) front power input connections;
(b) a backplane including:
(i) a plurality power inputs;
(ii) a plurality of module connection locations;
(c) a bus bar arrangement connecting the front power input connections of the chassis to the power inputs of the backplane;
(d) a plurality of modules mounted in the chassis, each module mounted to one of the module connection locations, each module including:
(i) a circuit protection device; and
(ii) a power output connection.
2. The power distribution system of claim 1, wherein the chassis includes a top, a bottom, a rear, and two sides which enclose the backplane, and the bus bar arrangement, and further comprising brackets for mounting the chassis to an equipment rack.
3. The power distribution system of claim 2, wherein the bus bar arrangement includes a plurality of metal bus bars extending from the front power input connections located adjacent to the brackets to the power inputs of the backplane, wherein the power inputs of the backplane face toward the rear of the chassis.
4. The power distribution system of claim 3, wherein the bus bars define a Z shape.
5. The power distribution system of claim 3, wherein the bus bars contact the backplane in two locations.
6. The power distribution system of claim 2, wherein the top and the bottom of the chassis each include ventilation openings.
7. The power distribution system of claim 2, wherein the top of the chassis includes a ground connection located between the open front and the rear, and wherein the ground connection faces toward the same direction faced by the open front.
8. The power distribution system of claim 1, further comprising an alarm connector on the backplane, and an alarm card mounted in the chassis in the open front.
9. The power distribution system of claim 1, wherein each of the modules includes a power input connector matable with one of the module connection locations of the backplane, wherein the power input connector includes a plurality of pins, wherein one of the pins is shorter than a remainder of the pins.
10. The power distribution system of claim 9, wherein each of the modules includes a circuit board extending between the power input connector for connecting to the module connection locations of the backplane, and a frame which supports the circuit board, the circuit board connecting the power input connector, the circuit projection device and the power output connection of each module.
11. The power distribution system of claim 1, wherein each of the modules includes a front tray including an upwardly extending front lip.
12. The power distribution system of claim 1, wherein the circuit protection device of at least one of the modules includes a fuse accessible from a front of the module while the module is mounted in the chassis.
13. The power distribution system of claim 12, wherein the circuit protection device of at least one of the modules includes a GMT type fuse accessible from the front of the module while the module is mounted in the chassis.
14. The power distribution system of claim 12, wherein the circuit protection device of at least one of the modules includes a TPA type fuse accessible from the front of the module while the module is mounted in the chassis.
15. A chassis for a modular power distribution system comprising:
(a) a chassis body including a top, a bottom, a rear, opposite outside panels and inside panels, and an open front;
(b) front power input connections:
(c) a backplane including;
(i) a plurality of power inputs;
(ii) a plurality of module connection locations;
(d) a bus bar arrangement extending between the outside panels and inside panels, and extending between the backplane and the rear, wherein the bus bar arrangement connects the front power input connections to the power inputs of the backplane.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a non-provisional application claiming priority to provisional application Ser. No. 60/873,620, filed Dec. 6, 2006, entitled “Modular Power Distribution Systems and Methods”, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a power distribution panel with circuit element modules.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Electrical circuit panels such as power distribution panels typically include a number of different circuit elements such as fuse holders and fuses, circuit breakers, input and output connectors and alarm signal LED's. For safety and other reasons, the electrical circuits of power distribution panels are enclosed within a housing structure. Therefore, the circuit elements listed above have typically been inserted into holes that have been pre-cut or pre-punched into the housing structure, usually on a front or back panel of the housing structure.

These prior circuit panels are fixed and once the holes are formed in the housing, the type and arrangement of the components is limited. In order to manufacture different fixed circuit panels of the prior systems, a circuit panel manufacturer would punch out different patterns of holes in the front or back panels of the housing structure in order to accommodate different arrangements of circuit elements. Significant retooling time and costs are involved for offering different fixed panels. Assembly of the circuit elements is also difficult when the elements are inserted through holes. One solution is described and shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,456,203.

In addition, such panels are hardwired between the input and output connections, and the fuse and/or breaker locations. In some panels, redundant power connections are provided, controlled by an OR-ing diode including a heat sink. These features can take up significant space within the panel.

There is a continued need for improved power distribution panels.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A modular power distribution system comprises a chassis and a backplane including a power input, and a plurality of module connection locations. A plurality of modules are mounted in the chassis, each module mounted to one of the module connection locations. Each module includes: (i) a circuit protection device; and (ii) a power output connection location.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front, top, and right side perspective view of one embodiment of a power distribution panel in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a rear, top, and left side perspective view of the power distribution panel of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front view of the power distribution panel of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a right side view of the power distribution panel of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is an exploded front, top, and right side perspective view of the power distribution panel of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is an exploded front, top, and left side perspective view of the power distribution panel of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a top view of the power distribution panel of FIG. 1, shown with a top cover portion removed.

FIG. 8 is a front view of the chassis of the power distribution panel of FIG. 1, shown without modules.

FIG. 9 is perspective view of a first circuit module.

FIG. 10 is a top view of the first circuit module.

FIG. 11 is a bottom view of the first circuit module.

FIG. 12 is a front view of the first circuit module.

FIG. 13 is a right side view of the first circuit module.

FIG. 14 is an exploded perspective view of the first circuit module.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a second circuit module.

FIG. 16 is a top view of the second circuit module.

FIG. 17 is a bottom of the second circuit module.

FIG. 18 is a front view of the second circuit module.

FIG. 19 is a right side view of the second circuit module.

FIG. 20 is an exploded perspective view of the second circuit module.

FIG. 21 is a front, top, and right side perspective view of a second embodiment of a power distribution panel in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 22 is a rear, top, and left side perspective view of the power distribution panel of FIG. 21.

FIG. 23 is a front view of the power distribution panel of FIG. 21.

FIG. 24 is a right side view of the power distribution panel of FIG. 21.

FIG. 25 is an exploded front, top, and right side perspective view of the power distribution panel of FIG. 21.

FIG. 26 is an exploded front, top, and left side perspective view of the power distribution panel of FIG. 21.

FIG. 27 is a top view of the power distribution panel of FIG. 21, shown with a top cover portion removed.

FIG. 28 is a front view of the chassis of the power distribution panel of FIG. 21, shown without modules.

FIG. 29 is a front, top, and right side perspective view of a third embodiment of a power distribution panel in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 30 is a front, bottom, and right side perspective view of the power distribution panel of FIG. 29.

FIG. 31 is a front perspective view of a first circuit module of the power distribution panel of FIG. 21.

FIG. 32 is a rear perspective view of the first circuit module of FIG. 31.

FIG. 33 is a front view of the first circuit module of FIG. 31.

FIG. 34 is a side view of the first circuit module of FIG. 31.

FIG. 35 is a top view of the first circuit module of FIG. 31.

FIG. 36 is a bottom view of the first circuit module of FIG. 31.

FIG. 37 is a cross-sectional view of the first circuit module of FIG. 31, taken along lines 37-37 of FIG. 35.

FIG. 38 is an enlarged view of a portion of the first circuit module of FIG. 37, shown partially connected to a backplane connector.

FIG. 39 is an exploded front perspective view of the first circuit module of FIG. 31.

FIG. 40 is a front perspective view of a second circuit module of the power distribution panel of FIG. 21.

FIG. 41 is a rear perspective view of the second circuit module of FIG. 40.

FIG. 42 is a front view of the second circuit module of FIG. 40.

FIG. 43 is a side view of the second circuit module of FIG. 40.

FIG. 44 is a top view of the second circuit module of FIG. 40.

FIG. 45 is a bottom view of the second circuit module of FIG. 40.

FIG. 46 is a cross-sectional side view of the second circuit module of FIG. 40, taken along lines 46-46 of FIG. 44.

FIG. 47 is an enlarged view of a portion of the second circuit module of FIG. 46, shown partially connected to a backplane connector.

FIG. 48 is an exploded perspective view of the second circuit module of FIG. 40.

FIG. 49 is a flow chart relating to the voltage disconnect monitor.

FIG. 50 shows greater detail of a front of a power distribution panel including two of the first circuit modules of FIG. 31, including the label configurations.

FIG. 51 shows greater detail of a front of the power distribution panel of FIG. 21, including the label configurations.

FIG. 52 shows in greater detail a front of another power distribution panel including four of the second circuit modules of FIG. 40, including the labeling configurations.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1-7, a power distribution system or panel 10 is shown. Power distribution system 10 is a modular design including a panel construction having a chassis 12 and at least one removable circuit module 14. In the illustrated embodiment, one first circuit module 16, and two second circuit modules 18 are shown. First circuit module 16 is positioned in a left side of chassis 12 wherein the first circuit module 16 is of a first design. Two second circuit modules 18 are also shown positioned in a right side of chassis 12 wherein second circuit modules 18 are of a different design from first circuit module 16.

Each circuit module 14 includes circuit distribution components. In the preferred embodiment, the circuit distribution components include a circuit protection device, such as a fuse or a breaker, and a power output arrangement 60. System 10 includes a power input arrangement 50 wherein the circuit protection devices within the modules 14 protect the circuit between the power input arrangement 50 and the power output arrangement 60.

Referring also to FIG. 8, chassis 12 includes a top 30, a spaced apart bottom 32 and opposite sides 34, 36. Adjacent to sides 34, 36 are brackets 38 for mounting to a rack, cabinet, or other telecommunications equipment. Chassis 12 includes a rear 40. Chassis 12 defines an interior 42 having an open front 44. Chassis interior 42 in the illustrated embodiment includes a first module receiving area 46 on a left side of chassis 12, and a second module receiving area 48 on a right side of chassis 12. A central area 49 of chassis 12 is provided. In some embodiments, central area 49 can be used for alarming and/or system management components.

Panel 10 includes power input connectors or terminals 50 connected to internal bus bars 52. A backplane 54, such as a printed circuit board, is positioned adjacent to rear 40 of chassis 12. Bus bars 52 connect input connectors 50 to backplane 54. Modules 16, 18 interconnect with backplane 54 to enable power distribution through modules 16, 18. Each module 16, 18 includes at least one power output connector 60, and a circuit protection device 62, such as a fuse or a breaker.

As shown in FIG. 7, bus bars 52 are generally Z-shaped metallic bars extending from first ends 68 to opposite ends 70. Opposite ends 70 define dual contact points 72 which can be mounted with fasteners (not shown) to backplane 54 to electrically interconnect bus bars 52 and backplane 54. Ends 68 of bus bars 52 are mounted to input terminals 50 at input terminal mounts 76 of chassis 12.

Interior 42 of chassis 12 includes side supports 80 and central support 82. Side supports 80 and central support 82 include a plurality of module guides 84 which define longitudinal slots for receipt of longitudinal rails of each of modules 16, 18. Central support 82 defines an interior for receiving an alarm card 92. Alarm card 92 mounts to alarm card connector 93 on backplane 54. Alarm card 92 is optional if such functionality is employed by panel 10.

Each module 16, 18 includes a rear module connector 96. Backplane 54 includes a front face 100, and opposite rear face 102. Positioned on front face 100 are a plurality of mating connectors 104 for electrically connecting to the module connectors 96.

Referring now in greater detail to FIGS. 9-14, first circuit module 16 is shown. Module 16 includes a frame 200 including a base 202, and a front tray 204 with a front lip 206. A vertical support 208 extends up from base 202 and defines a plurality of openings 210, 212 for output terminal units 220, and fuses 222, respectively. Base 202 also includes sides 226 and longitudinal rails 228. A printed circuit board 230 connects between module connector 96 and the circuit elements including output terminal units 220 and fuses 222. Fuse holder or block 240 with fuses 222 is held in place by a support tray 241 and a strap 242.

Referring now to FIGS. 15-20, one of the second circuit modules 18 is shown. Second module 18 includes a frame 300 including a base 302, a front tray 304, and a front lip 306. A vertical support 308 defines a plurality of openings 310, 312 for output terminal units 320 and fuses 322, respectively. Frame 300 includes sides 326, and longitudinal rails 328. A printed circuit board 330 connects between module connector 96 and the circuit elements including output terminal units 320 and fuses 322.

Modules 16, 18 mount to chassis 12 with fasteners (not shown) through holes 238, 338 in each module, and holes 66 in supports 80 of chassis 12. Front trays 204, 304 are provided for cable management of the power output cables. Front lips 206, 306 also provide a convenient gripping surface.

Because of the modular design for chassis 12 and modules 16, 18, repair or replacement of parts is facilitated. Should upgrades become desirable, new modules can be provided. The modules also allow for distributed control functions, such as in the case of redundant (dual feed) applications. The OR-ing diodes or other controllers can be locally placed on each module.

Each module includes the desired circuit protection components. Module 16 in the illustrated embodiment is a TPA type fuse. Modules 18 are GMT type fuses. Other fuse types or breakers can be used.

Referring now to FIGS. 21-52, further embodiments of power distribution systems or panels similar to panel 10 are shown. In FIGS. 21-28, a similar panel 410 is shown having a chassis 412, a first circuit module 416, and two second circuit modules 418. Alternatively, panel 410 can hold two first circuit modules 416, or four second circuit modules 418.

Chassis 430 includes air flow openings 440 on a top 430, and on a bottom 432. Chassis 430 further includes a forward facing ground 442 on top 430.

As with panel 10, first circuit module 416 and second circuit modules 418 are removable from chassis 430. Module 416 in the illustrated embodiment is a TPA type fuse with four fuses instead of two as noted in panel 10. Modules 318 are GMT type fuses, each including four fuses, instead of three as noted above for modules 18.

Referring now to FIGS. 26-28, a baffle plate 480 is shown mounted to a bottom 432 of chassis 430. Baffle plate 480 is spaced from bottom 432 by spacers 481 so as to allow airflow communication with openings 440 in bottom 432. Baffle plate 480 also functions as an airflow blocker to block warm air from below chassis 430 from entering into chassis 430, such as from heat emitting equipment mounted below.

Referring now to FIGS. 29 and 30, a further embodiment of a panel 510 is shown. Panel 510 includes the same chassis 430 as for panel 410, and four second modules 418, two on each side. Panel 510 also is shown including baffle plate 480. Baffle plate 480 also includes a front lip 482 positioned in an upward direction relative to a remainder of baffle plate 480. Front lip 482 and the rest of baffle plate 480 can also function as a cable tray for holding cables extending to and from panel 510, or for cables extending between equipment on either side of panel 510.

Referring now to FIGS. 31-39, first module 416 is shown in greater detail. Module 416 includes a frame 600 including a base 602, and a front tray 604 with front lips 606. Front tray 604 includes perforations 607 for use with cable ties. A vertical support 608 extends up from base 602 and defines a plurality of openings 610, 612 for output terminal units 620, and fuses 622, respectively. Base 602 also includes sides 626 and longitudinal rails 628. Two printed circuit boards 630, 631 connect between module connectors 696 and the circuit elements including output terminal units 620 and fuses 622. Fuse holder or block 640 with fuses 622 is held in place by a support tray 641 and a strap 642. Various openings 646 are provided in base 602 and tray 641 to assist with ventilation.

Referring now to FIGS. 40-48, second module 418 includes a frame 700 including a base 702, and a front tray 704 with front lips 706. Similar perforations 707 are provided for use as cable ties in front tray 704. A vertical support 708 defines a plurality of openings 710, 712 for output terminal units 720 and fuses 722 respectively. Frame 700 includes sides 726, and longitudinal rails 728. A printed circuit board 730 connects between module connector 696 and the circuit elements including output terminal units 720 and fuses 722. Various openings 746 are provided in base 702 to assist with ventilation.

Referring now to FIGS. 38, 47, and 49, a voltage disconnect feature is illustrated. One issue that can arise with removing of a module during operation is that arcing may occur between the connectors 696 of the modules, and the connectors 104 of the backplane. A voltage disconnect system 800 is provided to turn off the power to the module prior to removal of the module in order to prevent arcing. A selected pin 808 among pins 806 of connector 696 is provided with a shortened length. The shortened pin 808 will disengage first before the power connections disengage. This will provide an interrupt signal that will be received by a device, such as a microcontroller or a similar device on the module, to activate a voltage disconnect mechanism which turns off the current to the load. This will prevent arcing on the connectors and prevent damage from occurring. Furthermore, if the module is not completely inserted, the short pin 808 will prevent the voltage disconnect mechanism from activating and keep the output current turned off until the module is fully inserted. A visual indication will be displayed if the module is not fully inserted. FIG. 49 illustrates an example flow chart illustrating the voltage disconnect feature.

Each module 416, 418 includes various visual indicators to indicate system conditions. For example, there are provided visual indications for power, low voltage, blown fuse, and excess temperature through visual indicators 900.

Power input covers 910, and power output covers 920 can be provided if desired.

As shown in FIGS. 50-52, various arrangements for panels 410, 510, 1010 are shown using the same chassis 430. Labels 1200, 1210, 1220 can be used to label each module 416, 418 as needed for each arrangement. Labels 1200, 1210, 1220 can be adhesively attached to each module 416, 418 as needed.

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification361/627, 361/730, 361/728, 361/796, 361/729
International ClassificationH05K1/14, H05K7/00, H02B1/01
Cooperative ClassificationH02B1/04
European ClassificationH02B1/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 23, 2012FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Nov 9, 2010CCCertificate of correction
Jun 4, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: ADC TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INC., MINNESOTA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:COFFEY, JOSEPH;JOHNSEN, DAVID;SAND, DUANE;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:019379/0092
Effective date: 20070601